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Shapeshifting Seducer
Logan: What do you want, an apology?
Mystique: You know what I want. (transforms from one woman to another) The question is, what do you want?

When the Master of Illusion or character with Voluntary Shapeshifting wants to seduce someone, they have one very powerful tool in their arsenal: they can be anyone's "type". If they get their amorous advances rejected they will simply change their appearance until they hit paydirt. Common users of this tactic are those with Voluntary Shapeshifting as their main power, Witches (especially if her real form is that of a Wicked Witch), Enthralling Sirens, and Horny Devils (aka Succubi and Incubi).

A little research goes a long way in this regard, and a lot of subtlety is needed to keep the target from figuring out the seducer is a shapeshifter. ... which is actually fairly rare for this trope, since the shapeshifter will basically be Showing Off the New Body in a superpower equivalent to a strip tease while the seductee is looking. If the fact that they're being seduced by a shapeshifter doesn't give them Shapeshifting Squick, they may actually find it really kinky and start making suggestions.

One of the quickest ways for this tactic to fail is for the shapeshifter not to do any research on the seductee or badly botch said research. This can happen if they take the form of a lost love, an ex, or their anti-type, the form likeliest to turn them off and make them run screaming.

If the shapeshifter is impersonating someone whom the target is in love with, it crosses with Bed Trick. The trope is also likely to be involved in The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction.

Subtrope of Power Perversion Potential. Compare You Sexy Beast, Glamour. Not to be confused with Shapeshifting Lover, where they only have one alternate form (and it's animal to human). Might be related to Shapeshifters Do It for a Change, however.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Mary Shelley Lovecraft tried this in a Hack Slash story, morphing into a number of Cassie's past love interests while saying We Can Rule Together.
  • Runaways: Xavin is in love with Karolina, but he's not her type. Fortunately Xavin is a Skrull, with the ability to change his shape - including into a her.
  • Spider-Man:
  • Mystique of Marvel Comics has been known to use her shapeshifting for this purpose on occasion.
    • The "Bizarre Love Triangle" arc involves her efforts to seduce Gambit by such a method - first by inventing the false identity of "Foxx" and, when that fails, taking Rogue's form instead - specifically in order to get him to cheat on Rogue and thus prove to Rogue that he isn't good enough for her.
    • She transformed into different attractive women for Wolverine years earlier. The first time when she needed protection against Spiral and the second when she needed protection against Sabretooth. In a recent storyarc it was revealed that she had in fact started using this tactic against Wolverine nearly a century ago.
  • Vanessa Carlyle, Copycat, once transformed into four different types of attractive women who kept bumping into Deadpool, in order to secure that one of them should be his type. Being Deadpool he ended up having sex with all of them before revealing that he knew it was her all along. After that she kept transforming into different superheroines in bed. Years previously, she transformed into a wide assortment of attractive women to seduce a tycoon, so she could blackmail him to not let his wife know.

     Fan Works 

    Film 
  • Epic Movie has a scene where the Mystique Expy seduces a character...and he asks her to get fatter.
  • Legend. While the protagonists are trapped in Darkness' jail, the fairy Oona tries to get Jack to kiss her by creating an illusion that she's Jack's girlfriend Lili.
  • Mystique uses this several times in the X-Men films.
    • In X2: X-Men United, she seduces a guard by taking the form of a hot blonde so she can use him in Magneto's escape from prison. She later uses it on Logan by trying to seduce him in the form of Jean Grey. Logan catches her, and she goes through several other forms, including Storm, Rogue and even Stryker, but he tells her to leave.
    • In X-Men: First Class, she upgrades her age about 15 years to please Magneto, which doesn't really work for her until Magneto tells her he prefers her without the shapeshifted appearance.
  • Excalibur. Merlin using his magic to change Uther Pendragon into the form of the Duke he's fighting in order to sleep with the Duke's wife.
  • The female space vampire in Lifeforce doesn't change her form again onscreen after she settles on the shape of a beautiful girl, and she has a habit of walking around in the buff. She took this shape directly from the mind of Lt. Carlson, as the image of the girl is his conception of the perfect woman, and uses it to draw him to her and seduce him so she can use his lifeforce in her Evil Plan.
  • In The Craft, Nancy (a Wiccan) goes to get revenge on Chris after he tried to rape her friend Sarah as a result of the love spell they put on him, apparently by seducing him so she can perform a Groin Attack (which he anticipates). When she fails to get in his pants, she morphs her face into Sarah's to tempt him, which works. A double whammy, since the love spell means Chris didn't really love Sarah either.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Freddy Krueger uses his dream powers to turn himself into a beautiful nurse working at Westin Hills whom Joey was in love with to lure him away from the group. Things get ugly fast, and he ties Joey to the bed over a fiery chasm before turning back to his burned, dreamstalking self.

    Literature 
  • The reluctant, eponymous succubus in Richelle Mead's Georgina Kincaid series relies on this power to seduce (mainly) men in order to get the life energy her kind need. Much is made of the fact that the seduction of morally upstanding individuals is made easier by simple groundwork, plus a lot of skill in 'seductive techniques'. Brand-new succubi apparently often lack this carefully-cultivated skill, instead relying on their physical attributes. When Georgina is assigned an apprentice to supervise, she is horrified that the newbie considers 6ft blonde bombshells with breasts that defy physics to be every man's ideal. Said apprentice later reveals that she has much success with college boys, but can't understand why she can't snare moral men. Also, none of the several people Georgina - which isn't her actual name - has romantic entanglements with are attracted through any deliberate act of hers; they fall for her because of who she is. Whenever it is mentioned, none of them seem interested in the uses the shape-shifting ability might have in the bedroom. This is made more complicated by the fact that Georgina's 'default' form is not her original one either, and hasn't been for about 1500 years.
  • In A Night in the Lonesome October, the Thing In The Circle tries this on the protagonist-narrator in an attempt to get free of the Circle that imprisons it. It never quite succeeds in making him forget what it really is, and all it gets for its trouble is a series of deadpan snarker demurrals.
  • Iris in the first Xanth novel does this. She never hid her capacity for Magician-level illusions (although the more deceptive particulars are another matter), and, this being a Xanth novel, where every able-bodied male is horny as hell, it very nearly works.
  • What Saiman attempts with Kate Daniels, but never succeeds. His never-changing eyes make it Uncanny Valley for her.
  • Surprisingly averted in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Ron points out that Tonks is nowhere as pretty as Fleur. Hello? Tonks is a shapeshifter, she can be the girl of anyone's dream. Possibly justified as Fleur is part veela, and has supernatural glamour (which Tonks presumably can't imitate) as well as physical beauty.

    Live-Action TV 
  • At the start of Season 2 of Heroes, the illusionist Candace tried to seduce Sylar with, among other forms, hot twins, and himself. He kills her to try to steal the power for himself.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series uses shapeshifting seducers repeatedly.
    • In the season 2 episode, "Catspaw," the alien calling herself Sylvia tries to seduce Kirk by showing him several women she can become, saying "Look at me. I am a woman. I am all women!"
    • In a variation on the shapeshifting seducer theme, "The Cage" has Christopher Pike taken captive by a race of aliens who want to breed him with their other human specimen, Vina. To seduce him, they show Vina in a series of illusory settings, including one where she is transformed into the Green-Skinned Space Babe.
  • In The X-Files episode "Small Potatoes", Eddie Van Blundht used his shapeshifting abilities to seduce women, generally by posing as their husbands. In one case, he took advantage of a woman crazed about Star Wars by appearing to her as Luke Skywalker. This tripped him up. He knew about her obsession from years ago, and her social circle was pretty small.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Camille in the episode of the same name. She's a GELF (genetically engineered lifeform) who automatically shapes herself to the desires of others. She appears to the mechanoid Kryten as a female mechanoid, to the hologram Rimmer as a shy and awkward hologram, to Lister as a low-dressed vagrant, and to the Cat as... himself. Her real form is a green blob with stick eyes, which Kryten has no problem with, and goes on a date with her like that.
    • The gang also runs into Enthralling Sirens in the first episode of season 6, who lure space crews to them so they could snack on their brains. When Lister comes face to face with one, it turns itself into a woman Dave lusted after when he was young. He tries to resist, but eventually falls for her charms. Unfortunately these Sirens are of the Master of Illusion rather than body shapeshifting type, so we're soon treated to a shot of Lister making out with an 8-foot alien bug.
  • Another Siren shows up in the season 4 "Sex and Violence" episode of Supernatural. It also projected visions of the ideal woman to its victims, while its real shape looked more like a rotting corpse. Strangely, it tries the same thing on Dean but as a man, as Dean wasn't looking for a bedwarmer but a friend/brother who looked up to him.
  • In the Masters Of Horror episode "Dreams in the Witch-House", the witch appears to Walter as his comely neighbor Frances to seduce them. The subterfuge is aided by the fact that he's keeping watch in her apartment at the moment. She eventually turns back into her regular decrepit form and laughs at him as he screams.

    Mythology 
  • In Classical Mythology, Zeus is depicted doing this several times when he wants to have an affair with a mortal woman, and often with little apparent regard for what a woman would find attractive. He carried off Europa in the form of a bull and met Danae disguised as a "shower of gold." He was in swan form when he chased and raped Leda (or Nemesis, Depending on the Writer). He used the trope's more usual form with Alcmene, though, by taking the shape of her husband so well she was totally fooled. The story that he (initially) hid his true form from Semele presumably includes him taking an attractive mortal human form with her, as well, although unlike Alcmene she wasn't married.
  • In one of the Norse myths, Loki talked the gods into letting a Giant rebuild the ruined Wall of Asgard — and promising him the Sun, the Moon, and Freyja if he finished before the deadline. The idea was to cheat him, except he looked ready to finish on time with the help of his super-strong stallion Svadilfari. The gods demanded that Loki get rid of that horse, so he transformed into a mare and ... distracted ... Svadilfari. Some months later, Loki gave birth to Sleipnir.
  • A fairy tale has an evil witch who changes into the victims feminine ideal and kills them. She learns the hard way that her powers have a limit: A woman disguised as a man slays her.

    Radio 
  • Done in all sorts of confusing ways in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio "The Maltese Penguin", in which the Film Noir parody Femme Fatale seems to find Frobisher's penguin form very sexy ("You know how to quack, don't you? You just stiffen your beak, and vibrate."). She's also attracted to his Doctor form, even though Frobisher notes in his Private Eye Monologue that he has trouble kissing people with it because he's more used to having a beak, and that he struggles with humanoid forms because they have 'all those bits hanging off them, which don't even seem to have a use'. And he's also attracted to her penguin form. And her default form. And even when she tells him that she had become the pool of blood he'd inspected in an earlier scene, she says it really tickled when he touched it and he seems to find it rather sensual. Probably in their case attraction is really just all about the people rather than the bodies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Changelings of Eberron are noted to be very popular in prostitution, except for the paranoia about traps.
  • In the games Warhammer and its Sci-Fi cousin Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos God(dess) Slaanesh is canonically an androgynous being, which will appear in the form most suited to one's desires. This being Chaos, anything goes from the wholesome to the utterly depraved. Naturally, this fuels a lot of Rule 34.

    Video Games 
  • Ditto in Pokémon breed with almost everything.
  • Catherine, the titular character (A succubi) takes shape based on a victim's perfect image for a girlfriend.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 


Shapeshifter ShowdownShapeshiftingShapeshifting Squick
Shaming the MobOlder Than FeudalismShoot the Dog

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